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Ken Bacon
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Entries by Ken Bacon

Obama's Speech and Displacement in the Muslim World

(0) Comments | Posted June 8, 2009 | 7:30 PM

President Obama's speech to the Muslim World in Cairo was a complete home run.

He highlighted the shared religious values of peace and justice that unify the People of the Book - -Jews, Christians and Muslims who live by their Holy texts, the Talmud, the Bible and the Koran. He...

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Obama Focuses on Iraqi Displacement

(1) Comments | Posted April 15, 2009 | 7:03 PM

When President Obama met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki in Baghdad last week, he mentioned the U.S. interest in helping displaced Iraqis return home. Currently, 20% of Iraq's population is displaced--almost five million people--and it is increasingly clear that neither Iraq nor the region as a whole can...

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Addressing the Challenge of Iraqi Displacement

(0) Comments | Posted February 23, 2009 | 5:14 PM

Three years ago the bombing of the Al-Askari Mosque, a Shi'ah holy site in Samarra, triggered a wave of sectarian violence in Iraq that led to massive displacement. At one point five million Iraqis - 20% of the population - were displaced by violence between Sunni and Shi'ah Muslims.

Recently,...

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Holbrooke's Challenge in Afghanistan and Pakistan

(0) Comments | Posted January 26, 2009 | 3:34 PM

Richard Holbrooke, the Obama administration's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, knows first hand that peacemaking can be dangerous and difficult. He dedicated To End A War, his book on the negotiations that ended the war in the Balkans 15 years ago, to three colleagues who died in the early...

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No Exit for Civilians in Gaza in the Midst of War

(8) Comments | Posted January 5, 2009 | 6:40 PM

The current conflict in Gaza between Israel and Hamas is having a devastating impact on civilians. An immediate ceasefire is essential. But with bleak prospects for one in the near term, reducing civilian suffering must be the priority of all actors. Israel must allow full access for humanitarian supplies to...

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President's Corner: President Bush Could Repeat His Father's Mistake in Somalia

(1) Comments | Posted December 15, 2008 | 9:39 PM

At the end of his presidency in 1992 President George H.W. Bush deployed U.S. troops to Somalia as part of a United Nations operation that ended in disaster for America. His son, President George W. Bush, could make a similar mistake.

The current Bush administration is rightly concerned about escalating...

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Obama's National Security Team

(0) Comments | Posted December 2, 2008 | 5:19 PM

President-elect Obama used the word "pragmatism" twice while introducing his new national security team. "They share my pragmatism about the use of power," he said at one point.

He also used the word "partnership." While Mr. Obama, like all presidents, reserves America's right to act alone to defend our security...

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Al-Bashir Talks of Peace in Darfur While Escalating the Violence

(0) Comments | Posted August 27, 2008 | 4:32 PM

Three events on Monday, Aug. 25, help illustrate the cruel complexities of the death, destruction and displacement in the Darfur region of Sudan.

First and most worrisome, Sudanese troops attacked the huge Kalma Camp, where 90,000 people displaced from their homes by violence live in crowded squalor. The Sudan Tribune...

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Reshaping U.S. Military Policy in Africa

(2) Comments | Posted August 4, 2008 | 12:35 PM

At his final economic summit, President Bush highlighted his commitment to Africa, where he has increased assistance and programs to reduce HIV/AIDS. But a more enduring legacy may be a change in U.S. military structure that gives the Pentagon a bigger role in U.S. policies toward Africa.

Scheduled to...

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Iraq's Refugees: Five Years Later

(1) Comments | Posted March 18, 2008 | 5:19 PM

Several weeks before the U.S. invaded Iraq five years ago, the Washington Post published an op-ed by myself and George Rupp, the president of the International Rescue Committee, warning of the humanitarian problems that war could impose on the Iraqi people.

The piece ended with this statement: "The United...

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President Ford's Contribution to Human Rights: Lessons for President Bush

(6) Comments | Posted January 7, 2007 | 9:30 PM

In his eulogy to President Ford, Henry Kissinger credited the 38th president with helping to put in place "an internationally recognized standard for human rights, now generally accepted as having hastened the collapse of the former Soviet empire."

Ford's contribution to the protection and expansion of international human...

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